March 5, 2006


Mia Garlick[Edit][Delete]: Canadian Public Domain Registry Announced, Creative Commons [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: 4 Hits] I am home from Alaska and taking some time on a quiet day to catch up some things I've missed over the last little while. So I hope you enjoy this unusual Sunday edition (no magazine) of OLDaily. For this first link, news of a new public domain registry in Canada "making Canadian works in the public domain more widely accessible both here and abroad." [Tags: Accessibility, Canada] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

roseg[Edit][Delete]: Endangered Species, randomselections [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: 16 Hits] I am a scientist; it says so in my job description (and my Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists membership). Yet I do not even remotely resemble the stereotypical picture of a scientist (except, maybe, for the hair). I don't even write and think like a stereotypical scientist. I am by no means alone. So I am prompted by this item to wonder where such stereotypical images originate. Not how they're broadcast, the usual mass media suspects are easily implicated there, but how the original (inaccurate) idea is developed and popularized. There are so many such misconceptions about in our popular imagery, and it is difficult to draw them out and analyze them, but I have to wonder about the implications of a picture that is not real of ourselves and our culture. I am afraid we are losing ourselves, not just scientists but all of us, and I am afraid this disaffectation may in the long run cause irreparable harm to our society. [Tags: Project Based Learning] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Terry Freedman[Edit][Delete]: Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts? What if We're All Wrong?, Information and Communication Technology in Education [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: 13 Hits] So here we have another case of 'simply not getting it'. In a nutshell, it's this: "In effect, John Clare has set our members a challenge which, expressed crudely, is: put up or shut up! Show us evidence of transformed teaching and learning -- not anecdotal stuff, but measurable gains and, I would add, examples which are both scaleable and replicable, and which stand the test of time (ie short-term gains are sustained in the long-term)." Sheesh. Why should we respond to a challenge on these terms? Why should we let someone like John Clare set the agenda, set the terms of success? If he wants "measurable gain" he should go out there and produce them himself, not sit there and carp at us for not doing it. While he's at it, why doesn't he calculate the "measurable gain" from friendship, loyalty and trust? What blogging brings for us - and for our readers and students - is all of this, and more, and measuring it is as ridiculous as counting the number of friends you have. Having a personal, self-defined identity and being able to express one's thoughts and feelings might not alter a math test score one iota, but honestly, who cares? Education isn't about improving test results, education is about helping people enjoy richer and happier lives (not 'more productive' lives - that's a measure of value we should discard as empty and worthless). Here's my answer to John Clare (and, incidentally, what I would and do say to students and teachers): if blogging works for you, then do it. If it doesn't, then don't do it, and leave the rest of us alone. [Tags: Web Logs] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Dave Tosh[Edit][Delete]: Meeting the Accountability Challenge by Implementing a Campus-Wide ePortfolio., Dave Tosh : Weblog [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: 7 Hits] Take a new technology, put into the hands of an institution, and they break it. As Dave Tosh says, "the conclusion suggests to me that they are completely missing the boat: 'As higher education institutions adapt to society's current and future needs and expectations, implementing robust ePortfolios will increase effectiveness and document our value to our students and communities. We must be proactive to show policy makers that we embrace our changing world and that we are committed to excellence, both for our students and our institution.'" e-Portfolios aren't about making politicians happy, they are about enabling people to have a voice and an identity. But where is there room for that in our system? [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Associated Press[Edit][Delete]: AOL Vows to Institute Fee-based Service Despite Protests, San Jose Mercury News [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: Hits] Let me be clear, so there is no doubt. If AOL's system were widely adopted, it would start costing me hundreds of dollars a month to provide this newsletter. AOL's statement that "only legitimate senders of mass e-mail are likely to pony up the fee" is a crock - only commercial mass emailers will do so (and they, of course, won't be slowed at all). So if AOL launches this program, please note that AOL will be subject to a complete and total boycott from this site: all email from AOL accounts in and out will be refused, all web accesses (including RSS) will be blocked. I encourage all other sites and services to take similar measures; AOL cannot be allowed to block all but commercial communication on the internet. [Tags: Newsletters] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Gene Bellinger[Edit][Delete]: Change Management: The Columbo Theory, Systems Thinking [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: Hits] How do we convince others to accept our view? The author writes, "It depends on whether one can integrate self and other to create selfless. It depends on whether one can integrate dependent and independent to create interdependent. It depends on whether one can develop a sense of self and self-awareness which is independent of the event, and establish an intent, as Senge and Fritz put it, for the pursuit of truth. Not my truth, or your truth, but more of an appropriate truth." What needs to be stressed, I think, is that 'selfless', as described here, does not imply loss of self, nor does 'an appropriate truth' entail loss of one's own truth. These are, if you will, something that needs to emerge from the connectedness and inter-relation, and not be stipulated as requirements for interaction. More specifically, they result from interactions with appropriate properties (which would be some set including 'respect', 'autonomy', 'equality' and the like) which develop naturally and cannot be forced. [Tags: Interaction] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Gene Bellinger[Edit][Delete]: Leadership&Management, Systems Thinking [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: Hits] My view (and I've expressed it often in my organization, which makes me really popular) is, as described in this short article, that "management [is] a supportive function rather than a directive function... management [is] a service providing function offering training, development, coaching, mentoring, and the like, rather than performing the traditional planning, organizing, directing and controlling functions." Thanks Rod for the link. View more articles from Systems Thinking. [Tags: Mentors and Mentoring] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Min Shi, Curtis J. Bonk and Richard J. Magjuka[Edit][Delete]: Time Management Strategies for Online Teaching, International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning [Edit][Delete]International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: Hits] The authors consider the need for different time management strategies on the part of online instructors. Probably the best advice offered is to use the tools that are available - a little time spent learning how a tool is best used can save a lot of time in the long run. I would probably have added a section on sharing the workload, both with students (who can to a large degree answer each others' questions and moderate their own forums) and with colleagues (who can share notes, references and other resources). More articles from this month's International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. [Tags: ] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Emma Duke-Williams[Edit][Delete]: Show and Tell Online, Blogging IT and EDucation [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: 5 Hits] Emma Duke-Williams (who should put her name somewhere on her blog) writes about a Guardian article that examines the rising popularity of a social networking service called Bebo. Students, she notes, "are now more likely to put the PC on when they get home" instead of turning on the TV. What's interesting in the article is the description of the nature of the connection between people. "Email is very limited in what you can do with it," explains Birch. "With Bebo, everything you get is purely personal mail. When you get a mail you can click on their name and learn so much about the person who sent it." [Tags: Web Logs, Networks] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Tim Stahmer[Edit][Delete]: I'd Like To Thank The Academy..., Assorted Stuff [Edit][Delete] March 5, 2006
[link: Hits] When eSchoolNews proposed their edublogger awards last fall I recommended they cooperate with the already existing Edublog Awards. They decided to go their own way, however, and their winning blogs, all American, have been posted. In addition to Tim Stahmer's quality Assorted Stuff blog, the judges selected Frank LaBanca's Applied Science Research, Wesley Fryer's Moving at the Speed of Creativity and Andrew Rotherham's political blog, EduWonk. Personally, I think there are far better blogs out there and that, therefore, instead of trying to own the awards, eSchoolNews should have responded more positively to my original suggestion. Maybe next year, hm? P.S., Dave Warlick's blog is called '2 Cents Worth'. [Tags: Web Logs, United States, Research, Quality] [Comment] [Edit] [Delete] [Spam]

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Browse through the thousands of links in my knowledge base sorted according to topic category, author and publication.

Stephen Downes

About Me
Bio, photos, and assorted odds and ends.

You know, the ones that appear in refereed journals of Outstanding Rank.

Lectures, seminars, and keynotes in a wide variety of formats - everything from streaming video to rough notes.

All my articles, somewhere around 400 items dating from 1995.

Audio recordings of my talks recorded in MP3 format. A podcast feed is also available.

What I'm doing, where I'm doing it, and when.

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Stephen Downes

Copyright � 2006 Stephen Downes
National Research Council Canada


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I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle.

Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be.

This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence.

This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward. - Stephen Downes


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